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EDUC 5011: Research Methods

Open Learning course registration will be unavailable due to maintenance on Friday, September 30, from 9:00 am to 10:00 am.

NOTE: To register for this course, please email or call 250-377-6067.

This course will serve as an overview to research methods typically used in educational research. It will familiarize students with a range of research methods which will allow students to be critical consumers of research and apply appropriate methods to examine a range of research questions. Students will learn to design research proposals, conduct a literature review, examine a variety of research methods, and learn procedures for securing research ethics approval.

Learning outcomes

After successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  • Identify the characteristics of qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research designs
  • Critically examine the theoretical frameworks and research methods used by others
  • Synthesize literature to answer a research question
  • Describe qualitative and quantitative data gathering tools
  • Describe qualitative and quantitative data processing tools
  • Identify and define a research topic of interest
  • Define, position, and justify a research problem of relevance to your field of interest
  • Design clear research questions
  • Identify and apply appropriate research methods to answer different research questions
  • Effectively conduct a review of theoretical and empirical research literature
  • Critically examine ethical issues in research with humans
  • Describe the procedures for securing ethics approval

Course topics

EDUC 5011 includes the following eleven modules:

  • Module 1: Fundamentals of educational research
  • Module 2: Research approaches in education: From an area of interest to a research problem
  • Module 3: Specifying a purpose and research questions
  • Module 4: Ethical considerations in applied research
  • Module 5: The literature review: Developing an argument based on research
  • Module 6: Critiquing and synthesizing the literature
  • Module 7: Writing the literature review and refining your questions
  • Module 8: Qualitative Research Designs
  • Module 9: Processing, Interpreting, and Reporting Qualitative Data
  • Module 10: An Introduction to Quantitative and Mixed-Methods Research and Basic Statistics
  • Module 11: Survey Designs

Required text and materials

Online MEd students are responsible for sourcing and/or ordering their own books. Please see the list of required textbooks here:

You may be able to order the text through the TRU Bookstore at Please note, if you choose to source your own textbooks, publishers may offer several package options that include additional resource material not required in your course. You may choose to purchase any package as long as it includes the correct author, title and edition listed for your course.

If you have any questions about obtaining the correct textbook, please contact They will be happy to assist you.


To successfully complete this course, you must achieve a passing grade of 70% or higher on the overall course and 50% or higher on the mandatory Final Project. The following table illustrates how your final grade will be determined for this course.

All written assignments for the course should be written using APA style and excellent writing is expected. All course assignments must be submitted at the times established unless prior approval of the Open Learning Faculty Member is granted.

Assignment 1: Social Autobiography 5%
Assignment 2: Research Interest-Rationale, Purpose, Research Questions 10%
Assignment 3: Ensuring Ethical Research 10%
Assignment 4: Literature Critique 10%
Assignment 5: Literature Review 20%
Quiz: Modules 8 to 11 10%
Final Project: Research Proposal (mandatory) 20%
Online Discussions 15%
Total 100%

Open Learning Faculty Member Information

An Open Learning Faculty Member is available to assist students. Students will receive the necessary contact information at the start of the course.

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